Agrifood Systems

Agrifood Systems Program
Transforming Food and Agriculture Systems

The Agrifood Systems Program supports localized partners who are working at the intersection of socially equitable and ecologically-rich food and agriculture systems, and connecting them to global resources and knowledge. 


What We Do

EcoCiv has partnered with The Land Institute and cofounder Wes Jackson, chef José Andrés of World Central Kitchen, and Middlebury College, in addition to other leaders on food justice and sustainable agriculture issues by convening and facilitating events and providing research-based recommendations for transforming agrifood systems. 

In 2021, EcoCiv published,  The New Possible: Visions of Our World beyond Crisis, a collection of twenty-eight unique visions of transformative possibilities for a post-pandemic future, including essays by agrifood system leaders, Michael Pollan and Vandana Shiva.  

In 2021-2022, EcoCiv partnered with The John Templeton Foundation to identify high-impact areas in philanthropic funding across 12 sectors, including food and agriculture. Over 30 research priorities in food and agriculture were identified by dozens of experts that are pivotal to the future of an equitable and sustainable food system.  


Why Agrifood Systems?

A just and regenerative food and agriculture system is one of the critical foundations for the transition to an ecological civilization. EcoCiv views agriculture and food as intrinsically connected, and as such our program approaches both systems in tandem. 

The agrifood system is the single largest land use and employer. As of 2020, food production utilizes 50% of the world’s habitable land, 70% of freshwater consumption, and produces around a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, 1 billion people are employed in the agrifood system, yet between 720 and 811 million people in the world go hungry.  

Traditional responses to these agrifood system issues often take two forms, 

  1. Imposed by top-down actors: prescriptive, colonialist, destructive, racist, one-size-fit-all 


        2. Grassroots led: underfunded, siloed, reactionary, missing new information 

The Agrifood Systems program fills the gap between these responses by promoting adaptation that is localized yet supported by international best practices, resources, and knowledge targeted at key leverage points for global systems change. 


Agrifood Systems Hypothesis

  • Combining localized priorities and knowledge with global expertise and resources will yield long-term, sustainable, and resilient agrifood system initiatives, 
  • Integrating a holistic view of equity that restructures power relations to simultaneously reduce inequities while amplifying marginalized voices will lead to systemic change,
  • Catalyzing innovative agrifood system solutions that are presumed to be too risky, we can pave the way for future transformative projects to be replicated and scaled to local contexts.  


Agrifood Systems Program provides:

  • Technical expertise in social, ecological, and economic elements of food and agriculture systems, as well as innovative approaches to food sovereignty and climate resilient agriculture and animal production. We also work on food and agriculture as a means for land management and conservation, community development, systems change, and more,
  • Services include consulting on the topics above, research support, facilitation, and convenings.

For more information, please contact Ellie Leaning at